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Property issues for non-married partners

Let’s take a look at what non-married couples should be aware of when purchasing a home together in Calgary.. or really any area in Canada for that matter. As they say…knowledge is power so familiarizing yourself is key. After you have decided on the area, style & price point you are both comfortable with, there are other issues to be aware of… jumping into the Calgary real estate market can be exciting & profitable if structured properly!

Lenders require both co-owners on title

Lenders typically insist both owners take responsibility for debt on a property. So if you’re in a common-law relationship and one spouse is not on the title, then he or she has no right to the home upon separation! This reality check can be shocking especially for 1st time home buyers. To offset the lenders criteria you should both draft & sign a cohabitation agreement. A cohabitation agreement is a legal binding document between two unmarried individuals who wish to live and own property together. This agreement protects their individual interests and assets in the event of a split.

Please note…

Common-law spouses, are not afforded the same legal protections as being married, especially when it comes to a shared property in Canada.

Breaking up common-law may favor one owner over the other

If something should happen & you break up, you might choose to sell the property and split the proceeds 50/50… or perhaps one person has the means to buy the other out…either way… it will not be dealt with the same as a married couples property asset!

Working with a reliable realtor has its advantages

Before you get on board with what may be one of the biggest purchases of your life, you and your partner should find an experienced REALTOR® Contact me who has a working knowledge base of the area you have decided upon. A realtor can help you pick the right home & answer any questions you may have. they also can help you find a knowledgeable real-estate lawyer to assist you in drawing up a cohabitation agreement.

When in doubt consult a real-estate lawyer

& lastly, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of common-law property ownership in Alberta, as the laws vary greatly from province to province. The last thing anyone wants is a surprise at the end of what otherwise can be a beautiful experience with long lasting benefits for both owners…